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Palestinians In Jerusalem Are Embracing The Ramadan Selfie Trend

Ammar Awad photographs and talks to Palestinians embracing the Ramadan selfie trend in Jerusalem.

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Reuters photographer Ammar Awad photographs and talks to Palestinians who are jumping on the trend of taking selfies during Ramadan at al-Aqsa Mosque, an eighth-century Muslim shrine in Jerusalem. The selfie takers told Awad that the selfies are both a personal memento and for relatives who are unable to visit the ancient compound.

Al-Aqsa has been the site of heated confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians for many years. Access is controlled by Israel and limited for Palestinians.

"Many of those taking selfies were holding up handwritten notes addressed to relations who were not able to be there." –Ammar Awad

Shadi Etmezeh, left, 25, from the West Bank village of Idna, near Hebron.

Ammar Awad / Reuters

Shadi takes a photo of a relative holding a note reading "Muatasem Etmezeh, the mosque misses you."

Translation: "Take that!"

"We take these pictures for our family because we really care about them and want them to enter al-Aqsa [through the pictures]." –Ameer Taha

"We took it as a memory, because maybe we won't be able to come again next Ramadan." –Shorouq

"This message is for my relatives and son because they are not allowed to enter Jerusalem." –Ibtisam Thaher, a mother from the West Bank city of Ramallah

Ammer Ali, 17, from the West Bank city of Nablus.

Ammar Awad / Reuters

Ali said this is his first visit in Al Aqsa, and so he wants to take photos of everything on the compound.

"I just wanted to capture a piece of personal history. I haven't been to al-Aqsa for 20 years; it's a memory from al-Aqsa that I will post on Facebook." –Mahdi al-Karaki, from Hebron in the West Bank

Ali Souwan, 12, with friends from the West Bank city of Hebron.

Ammar Awad / Reuters

Souwan said he has not been to al-Aqsa in three years and that he took the selfie to show his friends and so that he'll have a souvenir.

"They wanted to have a presence at al-Aqsa during Ramadan. I hope that I achieved their wish and that God considers that they prayed here." –Ibtisam Thaher

#فلسطين #المسجد_الاقصى

Translation: "We do not need a permit to enter Jerusalem."

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims from Gaza, the West Bank, and across the globe will visit the mosque during Ramadan this year.

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